|RG550L Black (1990) (more images)|
The RG550L features a basswood body bolted to a thin, flat Wizard maple neck with a 24-fret fingerboard with dot position markers. It has dual Ibanez humbucking pickups flanking an Ibanez single-coil, which are mounted to a black pickguard. Other components include a Floyd Rose-style double locking tremolo bridge and a locking nut.
Prior to 1992 the bridge was the original Edge tremolo. In 1992, the new Lo-Pro Edge was used. The 1988 models have color-matching headstocks except for the white finish (which has a black headstock).
In 1988, the RG550L with the black finish was offered with a choice of rosewood or maple fingerboard. These are distinguished with an "-R" or "-M" suffix in the model number. All other colors were offered only with maple fretboards. Starting in 1989 all RG550Ls had maple fingerboards.
Both the Candy Apple and Purple Neon finishes are considered to be very rare to non-existent as they are almost never encountered on the secondary market. It's conceivable that the Candy Apple finish is confused by owners for one of the other shades of red (Five Alarm or Road Flare), or that the guitars were simply not produced in that finish despite its appearance in the catalog.
There have only been a handful of RG550Ls spotted "in the wild" with the white finish.
Note about serial numbers
- Main article: Ibanez serial numbers
The RG550L was produced in Japan by FujiGen and as such they bear serial numbers that start with "F" followed by six numeric digits. The first of these numbers indicates the last digit of the year of manufacture.
However, models produced through 1988 (and perhaps into 1989) have serial numbers starting with "F7" which would normally indicate production in 1987. It seems that FujiGen or Ibanez produced an oversupply of these "F7" serial number stickers and so just continued to use them through 1988. Any RG550L with a serial number starting in "F7" should be considered a 1988 (or perhaps even a 1989) model.
- image courtesy Chris2vic
- 1989 Artist Spirit catalog (page 6)
- 1989 USA catalog (pages 6–7)
- 1990 Europe catalog (page 9)
- 1990 Japan catalog (pages 10–11)
- 1991 Europe catalog (pages 12–13)
- 1991 USA catalog (page 25)
- 1991 Japan catalog (pages 18–19)
- 1992 Europe catalog (page 25)
- 1992 USA catalog (pages 24)
- '92 Spring Thanks Fair (Japan) poster (front)